As we move into the summer months, finding time to write always seems to be a problem. We all tend to think that if we just had the right time and the right place we could get so much writing done.
I remember when I was younger—much younger—with kids at home, that I always dreamed of going away by myself to a wonderful retreat and just writing. At one point I actually arranged such a week-long retreat alone on the Oregon coast. I packed up my typewriter and notes and settled into my cozy cabin to just write. The first day went pretty well, but by the third day I was so lonesome I could hardly concentrate on the writing. I ended up having my husband put my daughter on a bus to come and spend the week-end with me. So much for writing retreats.
All that to say that waiting for the perfect time and place to write is counterproductive. I came to realize that if I really wanted to write I could sit down even in the midst of my family chaos and just write—which is what I did.
We write because we have to. I remember a conversation I had with a former pastor’s wife who had talked for years about writing a book for pastor’s wives. After they retired, I asked her about the book. She assured me she was working on it, but had decided she’d only write when she felt inspired. I wanted to say something to her at that point, but I bit my tongue. Now, 15 years later, the book is still not finished. What I wanted to tell her is that writing—though often inspired—is not as much about inspiration as it is about discipline. Inspiration is often fleeting—it’s discipline that gets the job done. I hope your summer is productive.